A convicted felon accused of gunning down a man and seriously wounding the victim’s cousin during a dispute in front of a Banning liquor store is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Riverside County Superior Court.
Brody Joseph Baca, 22, was arrested earlier this month in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, along the Baja California coast. He was extradited to the United States and temporarily incarcerated in a federal detention center in Nogales, Arizona, before being transferred to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
Baca is charged with murder, attempted murder, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
Baca is scheduled to appear Friday afternoon before Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst at the Banning Justice Center.
Baca allegedly killed 18-year-old Alex Marcotte and critically wounded his cousin, 22-year-old Dylan Artea, both of Banning, on the evening of Dec. 28, 2018.
The victims had just walked out of 4 Bros Liquor at 310 E. Ramsey St. and were heading to a going-away party for a family friend preparing to leave for military service, when they encountered Baca in the parking lot.
Investigators allege Baca shot the pair during an unspecified argument. Marcotte was struck twice in the upper body and died a short time later at a Coachella Valley hospital.
Artea was shot once in the back. His mother, Kelly Blistan, told City News Service last year that the bullet exited his throat, prompting a nearly 12-hour surgery to fix the damage. The bullet also struck his spine, she said, leaving half of his body paralyzed.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit by Banning Police Department Sgt. Mike Bennett, a friend of Baca’s witnessed the attack and later identified him to police. However, before law enforcement officers could track him down, Baca fled to Mexico.
Blistan said her son is still undergoing physical therapy and seeking all options possible to regain the use of his lower body.
“He has sensation,” she said. “We’re not giving up. Every day is a struggle.”
According to court records, Baca has a prior conviction for carrying a loaded stolen firearm.